Business Personal Finance

Monday 19 August 2019

'They made me scrape the leftovers from people's plates into the pot of soup for the next day' - Singer Cathy Davey's worst job


Cathy Davey.
Cathy Davey.

The singer-songwriter Cathy Davey was born in Dublin and now lives in Kildare.

Her father, Shaun Davey, is an acclaimed composer and her mother, Agnes Conway, is a distinguished sculptor. Davey has released a number of albums including New Forest and The Nameless. Her new album Live at The Unitarian Church is now out on vinyl from Davey will perform in Balrothery Church, Dublin on October 13. For more information, visit

What's the most important lesson about money which your career as a musician has taught you?

I am honestly still trying to learn. I'm not money-motivated enough to take in life's lessons as well as I ought.

What's the most expensive country you've visited?

The Seychelles was my first and only fancy holiday. There was an extreme disparity between the rich and everyone else. The locals seemed to be living in poverty while the holidaymakers were paying $40 for a salad. It made the whole thing feel dirty. I wouldn't ever go back. Compare that to a country like Denmark where a cup of coffee is expensive but there's free healthcare, free education, no outward displays of a pampered elite, and more of a balance.

What's your favourite song about money?

Junk by Paul McCartney. It's about the sadness of old unloved things being replaced by newer models.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

All the old coins with the horse, pig, salmon, bull, hare and wolfhound were gorgeous. Our old 50 pence heptagon coins bring back good memories of sweet shop splurges.

Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

My motor vehicles - but I've never spent more than €4,000 on them. I like old and characterful.

What was your worst job?

I've kind of enjoyed all my jobs. But I guess one that was a bit grim was the coffee shop where they made me scrape the leftovers from people's plates (such as sucked chicken bones) into the pot of soup for the next day.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Paying a project manager everything upfront for building work. Never, ever, again.

What was your best financial killing?

In 2001, I asked my then record company to buy a national guitar for me for the recording of my first album. In 2010, I exchanged it for a 1970s banjo and a mandolin for my self-released third album. That's a win-win in my book.

If you won the EuroMillions, what would you do with the money?

I have expensive tastes of agricultural persuasions. Every night I dream of buying more land, owning my own digger, and getting a mini-tractor with a front loader.

If you could design your own euro note, what image would you put on it?

I'd bring back any of the animal images from the coins. People are too flawed to get that honour.

iTunes or Spotify? Or are you more into CDs and records?

Records. I hate music squished up like data.

Would you buy property now?

I'd buy land, so I could make my own hay.

What's the best advice you ever got about money ?

Si Jones from The Verve used to play bass with me in my early touring days - he was crazy smart and had dealt with all the highs and lows of fame and money. He told me not to touch my record deal advance and only pay myself a wage from it. He was very correct.

What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?

Real coffee in the morning, the odd good bottle of wine, and chocolate.

Sunday Indo Business

Also in Business